THE TULANE LILLY TEACHING FELLOWS PROGRAM

HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM


The Tulane Lilly Teaching Fellows Program, begun at Tulane July 1, 1992, was initially supported by a three-year grant from the Lilly Endowment, as part of its on-going teaching fellows programs for major research institutions. The Tulane grant application was written by Professor of Psychology Edgar C. O'Neal - neal@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu - and Professor of Political Science and Deputy Provost Robert S. Robins, robins@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu, who continue to serve as co-directors of the Program. In keeping with terms of Tulane's agreement with the Endowment, the Program has been supported by the University since July 1, 1995. Like a number of its peer institutions that participate in the Lilly program, with the Endowment's blessing Tulane continues to refer to the Program as the "Lilly Teaching Fellows Program."


Each year six or seven full-time tenure-track faculty are selected to be teaching fellows during their second or third year at Tulane. Since its inception twenty-five young faculty members from Tulane units serving undergraduates have been fellows, in addition to the six in the current year. In the year of their Lilly fellowship fellows develop (the "project") a new course or revamp an existing one, participate in bi-monthly meetings on teaching, participate in a number of workshops on college teaching presented by "outside" consultants. Each fellow is yoked with a mentor--a senior faculty member of established research accomplishment and high teaching proficiency, in the fellow's or a related field--who assists the fellow with the project, exchanges classroom visits with the fellow, and participates in Program-sponsored events.


The fellow's project is a new course or revamped existing course that represents in some way a combination of the fellow's research interests and the curricular needs of the unit in which the fellow teaches. A very tangible footprint of the program thus far has been 25 new courses introduced into the curriculum, in effect producing an updating of the curriculum. Fellows are each supported for up to $3,000 for costs related to their projects, and these have included travel to training workshops, books and software, equipment, and payment of persons assisting in course development. Since the academic year 1994-1995 the Program has expanded its activities to include other teaching support activities. A number of meetings on issues in teaching were opened to other new faculty and in 1995 and 1996 the Program sponsored CELEBRATION OF TEACHING!, a two-day series of panels, workshops, discussion groups (involving faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and undergraduates) focusing on the importance of teaching to the University. In August 1996 the Program issued the first edition of Tulane Faculty Sourcebook: Teaching Resources for Tulane Faculty, information about existing policy that relates to teaching at Tulane, local resources in support of teaching, and tips and suggestions for teaching. The Sourcebook is issued to all new Tulane faculty members, deans and department chairs, and other faculty on request. In the current academic year the Program initiated a series of meetings on college teaching, Teaching at Tulane, to which new faculty are invited.


From the beginning of the Program it has benefitted from the efforts of talented and dedicated graduate students who worked part-time in the administration of the Program. Paul Frankel - frankel@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu--, a graduate student in social psychology served as consultant, assisting in the Planning of Celebration of Teaching, serving as primary editor of the Sourcebook, and assisting in making Tulane Lilly resources available on the World Wide Web. Psychology graduate student Volkan Topalli - pos87awg@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu--served as Program Graduate Assistant during its initial two years, and Psychology graduate student Beth Cralley - ecralley@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu-- served as Program Graduate Assistant during 1994-1995 and was also a primary editor of the sourcebook. The current Program Assistant is political science graduate student Maria Szeplaki - mszepla@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu--.


OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM


The objectives of the Program are

1. Enhanced fellows' instructional skills, commitment to quality teaching, confidence in their own abilities, and motivation to apply their research and scholarly expertise to meeting curricular objectives.


2. Added vitality, variety, and depth to undergraduate curriculum as a result of new courses produced by fellows' participation in the program.


3. Each fellow's acquisition of a continuing support network for his or her own teaching, composed of other fellows (including those in earlier and later cohorts), program mentors and administrators; and increased knowledge of teaching resources .


4. Development in more mature faculty of improved mentoring skills, and increased interest in suppporting younger colleagues in their development as teachers.


5. Providing training and information on college teaching to all new faculty.


6. Presenting annually events such as workshops, Celebration of Teaching, talks by innovators in college instruction, for the faculty and graduate teaching assistants.


7. Editing and making available a teaching resource book for faculty at Tulane with information about current policy related to teaching, resources for teaching, and useful information for teaching and learning in the classroom.





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